This program is organized by Duke faculty/staff in collaboration with DukeEngage. 

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Program Dates

June 12 - August 7

Service Focus

Volunteering in areas established largely as the result of apartheid. Partnering with non-governmental organizations and a school. Focus is on social and environmental justice; community development; education; youth skills development; and other issues.

Program Leaders

  • , Director of Policy Initiatives, Duke Center for Child and Family Policy; Lecturer, Sanford School of Public Policy
  • , Sanford MPP Graduate Student and 2015 Durban Site Coordinator


Language/Other Prerequisites: English is the primary language spoken in Wentworth and throughout Durban. In the province of KwaZulu-Natal, Zulu is the most common language. Based on feedback from DukeEngage-Durban alumni, students who use online resources to learn basic Zulu terms before departing will be glad they did.

Course Requirements: Specific prior coursework is not required, however, preference may be given to students who demonstrate knowledge and understanding of South African history and culture, and/or knowledge and understanding of the nonprofit sector (in the U.S. or abroad).

Program Scope

Students live and spend most of their time in Wentworth, about a 15-minute drive from Durban city centre. Students are matched with organizations working to improve the economic, environmental, educational and overall living conditions for residents of Wentworth, a community that was established as the result of apartheid. The program includes opportunities to learn about the experience and impact of apartheid from community partners, homestay hosts, and many other members of the community.

Students immerse themselves in multiple efforts and activities that are likely to be meaningful with regard to the students’ world view, educational development and personal growth, as well as in terms of the contributions they.

There are partial and full-day excursions in the Durban area and an overnight trip (2-3 nights) to Mnweni, a rural community in the Drakensberg area of the KwaZulu-Natal province. Mnweni includes a cultural and economic development center where the DE group stays. The students spend one night staying at the home of a local Zulu family.

Throughout the program, students observe the impact of government policy on on‐the-ground service delivery. They interact with individuals and organizations directly involved with the apartheid “struggle.”

The program seeks students who are interested in direct service work as well as in the government, policy, and power systems that require, fund, and otherwise influence those services and the people and institutions that are the intended beneficiaries.

To see this program profile in its entirety, please access the PDF document in the column to the right.  

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  • The PDF above details the DukeEngage in South Africa-Durban program in its entirety. All program details, including program dates, are subject to change leading up to the point of departure. 


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